20 February 2014

Marian Baay reviews THE THIEF by Stephanie Landsem

Howard Books, 2014

Reviewed by Marian Baay
~5 stars~*****

Since I read The Well by Stephanie Landsem last year, I have been looking forward to more books by this talented author. The Thief was another excellent and exciting adventure set during Jesus’ walk on earth. This book tells the story of the sister of the man born blind who was healed by Jesus in John chapter 9. In this book his name is Cedron.

Nissa is Cedron’s sister and she is the one taking care of their family. Their father gambles away their rent money and their mother is drunk most of the time. One day when Nissa was out pocket-picking, she was caught by a tall Greek named Dismas. The Greek is also a thief and teaches her the rules of stealing. Since then they would always go thieving together, forming an excellent pick-pocket duo. Dismas does not know Nissa is a girl, because when they meet she is dressed like a boy. One day she is caught by a Roman centurion, but Dismas distracts the man so that Nissa can get away.

After Cedron is healed by Jesus, he is rejected by his parents and no longer welcome in their home. Nissa takes him to a hideout where they stay for the night. Shortly afterwards she finds a house to rent, but in order to make the monthly payment Nissa must continue stealing. Although she does not want to do it anymore, there is no other way for her to make money. There is just simply nothing she is good at, except for picking pockets.

Longinus is the centurion we have met before in The Well. He is still looking for Cipio’s murderer and now he is also looking for a small thief and his Greek companion. They knew to escape once, but he will make sure that does not happen twice.
Longinus is a witness of Cedron’s healing and after Cedron and Nissa are rejected and scorned by their own people, he brings them to safety. He is concerned about the Jewish brother and sister and checks on them regularly. Not looking for a woman, he finds himself attracted to Nissa anyhow. But a relationship between a Jewish woman and a Roman centurion is as good as impossible. When he does not make any progress finding the thieves, he hires Cedron to go out and gather information about them. Longinus made a deal with his superior that he would find the thieves before Passover. If he does not succeed, he will lose his sword—the precious reminder of his father, who was a brave Roman centurion.

One day when Nissa meets Dismas, he has brought another man with him, and they go out stealing together. The man is called Gestas and he is mean and greedy. He leads Nissa in a terrible situation. Afterwards Nissa decides she does not want to steal anymore . . . ever! But then Gestas discovers Nissa’s secret and threatens her. She has no other choice then to continue pick-pocketing for this evil man. After months of stealing for Gestas, she comes up with a plan to get rid of him, but that does not go as she had hoped or planned.

When Cedron finds out that Nissa is the thief he was looking for, will he ever forgive her or will he also turn against her like everyone else? And what will happen when Longinus discovers what Nissa has done?
Will the Jewish young woman and the tough Roman centurion find healing and forgiveness?

This is a wonderful book full of rich historical details, well developed characters, excellent writing, and a fabulous plot. At times I found myself on the edge of my seat; almost too anxious to continue reading—how could this book ever have a satisfying ending?
Highly recommended!

You can find Stephanie's books at Amazon, CBD, and other bookstores.
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GIVEAWAY: One copy of this great book, winner's choice of paperback or ebook. International Winner ebook only. Don't forget your email address so we can contact you if you are our winner!

43 comments:

  1. Marian, what a great review of what sounds like an intriguing read by Stephanie Landsem!

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    1. Thanks, Diana! Stephanie's biblical fiction is original and intriguing.

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  2. Ditto to what Diana says, Marian!! Really does seem very intriguing and I want to find out the answers to those questions you posed!! ;)

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    1. Good luck in the drawing, Noela! And by the way, yours is a beautiful name. Do you mind if I use it in one of my upcoming books?

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    2. I'm not in the drawing Stephanie b/c I am a reviewer on OWG, but I do hope to get to read your books one day! And yes of course you may use my name, that would be an honor!! :)

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  3. Actually, a Jewish ancestor of mine from Egypt married Flavius, a Roman, and moved to the Brittany area of Gaul.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Rognvald. If you come back, please leave an email address in case you win.

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    2. Ooh. Fascinating. That story would be a nice sequel to The Thief.

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  4. Sounds awesome!! Love Biblical Fiction. Please enter me, would love to win a copy.

    Thanks for sharing!!
    AprilR
    tarenn98 at yahoo dot com

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  5. Wow! After that great review, I am eager to read this book. Please enter my name in your drawing.
    Kaye Whitney
    kayewhitney@bellsouth.net

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    1. Your name is entered, Kaye. Good luck!

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    2. I loved that review, too, Kaye! Good luck.

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  6. I love stories set in Jesus' time. These books are unfortunately few and far between, so when I find a book that sounds as great as this one does, during one of my favorite time periods, I am very excited and happy!
    Please enter my name in this drawing.
    Amber Hammrich
    18thcenturydreamer@gmail.com

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    1. I'm sure you're going to love this story, Amber! All the best in the drawing.

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    2. Biblical fiction is a smaller genre, Amber, but I enjoy writing it. I hope you like The Thief, and if you do you can read The Well, my first book.

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  7. May the favor of God always be ahead of you, Stephanie, preparing readers' hearts and flooding them with His love! His blessings are on you, and He is indeed signing over you! What a gift your books are to His Kingdom! Hugs from Texas!

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    1. Thanks, Caryl. Guess what? I just ordered Vow Unbroken as a treat for myself when I finish this draft of The Tomb. I can't wait!

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  8. Very interesting!!! GREAT review I loved it! :)

    Blessings,
    Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)

    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

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  9. This was a great review, Marian. Stephanie, The Thief sounds like a wonderful book! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks for the opportunity. katherinepasour@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Katherine. We have you entered.

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  10. Thank you for your review. Very helpful.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  11. Hi Marian,I would love to win this book,it sounds so very interesting.Thank you for giving me this chance to win.Blessings to you. linda.stowe@att.net

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    1. Always good to see you drop by, Linda. All the best in the drawing!

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  12. Wonderful review! Sounds like a fascinating book. Now I really want to read it and see what happens! I love reading books set during Jesus' time.
    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

    amyputney89 [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. It surely is a fascinating and original book, Amy. Good luck.

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  13. I love that you were "almost too anxious to continue reading", Marian! I can't wait! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. I hope you get the chance to read this book soon, Britney!

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  14. Great review! I love how Biblical fiction helps bring the Bible stories into a whole different realm, Would love to win :)
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. This book surely does, Betti! Good luck!

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  15. Hello ms Marian. Loved your review. Sounds like a great story. Wonder why his folks didn't want him anymore? And, after being so happy to be able to walk. Sad! Wonder if it was because they didn't think Jesus was really Christ so must have been a Sorceor (misp.) Thanks Stephanie for writing this story. Very interesting and I would love to win it. Glad the OWG girls ask you to visit. They are a great bunch. Love them all. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Glad to see I got your attention with this review, Maxie! I hope you get the chance to read it! :)

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  16. Fascinating review !!! I love reading history - interweaving with real history and characters. Would love to win this new book, The Thief. JKTerrazas09@aol.com

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    1. Thanks, Kim, and good luck in the drawing! :)

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  17. Thank you for a wonderful review. The Thief sounds like an outstanding book. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  18. Another great review Marian--how am I EVER going to get thru my tower of great books, waiting TBR? I have never read from this genre, but it sounds interesting.
    Vicki
    vmarney at hot mail...

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  19. Hi, Stephanie and Marian!!

    Thanks for the great review, Marian!!

    I love biblical fiction, and would love to read "The Thief"!! I think it enhances bible study, and makes it even more interesting!! "The Thief" sounds very exciting, as well as emotional!! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com
    OWG

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